The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has insisted that its new code of practice for pub companies has the backing of key stakeholders, despite opposition from some parts of the industry.
The code of practice calls on pubcos to: show transparency in regards to beer prices; clarify their policy for setting rent; and establish levels of competence for business development managers.
The BBPA launched the code after the collapse of mediation talks that were initiated following the Business and Enterprise Committee inquiry into pubco power and the beer tie.
Although the code has the backing of the BII and the Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations, it was rejected by Fair Pint, the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, the Campaign for Real Ale and Justice for Licensees, which formed their own lobby group, the Independent Pub Confederation.
However, Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA, said the industry, regulators and MPs are "responding positively" to the agreement.
"They recognise it as a significant step forward, which will deliver real change and improvement for all licensees," she said. "They also recognise that while the industry did need to make changes, the issues of the economic downturn, record recession, over-regulation and excessive taxation are the most significant factors depressing licensee incomes and driving pubs out of business.
"I would urge everyone in the industry to take time to consider our code agreement and get on board," Simmonds added. "It's far more important to work together on what we agree on, than try and find differences."
The split in the industry over the controversial beer tie was highlighted last week when the Office of Fair Trading rejected Camra's "super-complaint" that it was damaging competition.
The BBPA said the decision was a "clean bill of health" for the sector, but a large number of licensees remain angry and are set to continue protesting against the business model of the pubcos.
By Daniel Thomas
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